A prefabricated stainless steel cladding system being used by Heatherwick Studio at Aberystwyth Arts Centre could be developed into a specifiable product.
HS project manager Tom Chapman-Andrews says that the methods used to develop the lightweight ‘crinkled’ cladding for Aberystwyth University’s start-up business units have more in common with product design processes than traditional architecture and construction.
‘Instead of designing the system on paper, we have been designing it on site. The buildings are crafted and the overall aesthetic hand-worked. We will have developed a process to the extent that we could look at ways of mass-producing a panellised system,’ says Chapman-Andrews.
The commercial viability, including manufacturing costs, selling price and demand for a material that would be fairly typical of Heatherwick’s style, are areas that need to be considered, he points out.
The consultancy has been working on the £600 000 project since last February. It beat architects Sarah Wigglesworth and Studio Baad to land the 300m2 scheme.